31ST LD DEMOCRATS: MEETING MINUTES FEB 24, 2021
CALL TO ORDER/FLAG SALUTE (7:03)
Brian G: In honor of Black History month and as salute to the First Nations on whose land we all reside.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
John W: Motioned to approve, Jan F: Seconded. Agenda accepted
APPROVAL OF PRIOR MEETING MINUTES: Robin M
Rudy A. moved to accept, 2nded by Jan F. minutes adopted
Brian G: Need to Adopt the December 2nd meeting minutes (Dan Pincas)
John W: Requested general consent to start recording the meeting
John W: Motioned to accept the Dec 2 minutes, Donna D Seconded.
Brian G: Introduced Devon Davenport
Devon Davenport, Campaign Manager: Dr. Kim Schrier for Congress Legislative Update: (Tamara/Brian PLEASE add her Contact info)
“First, let me give HUGE Thank You’s for all of your work in 2020!”
Dr Schrier’s co-sponsored Agriculture bills will be included in the COVID recovery act—to assist small farms-to-table work of struggling families. Appointed to the Energy & Commerce defacto healthcare committee—seat at the table working on affordable drugs and healthcare. Also Rep Schrier has sponsored an Initiative with Seattle Children’s Hospital and Auburn School District for rapid COVID testing to get students back in school ASAP.
Rudy A: Can you expand on the 8th CD election demographics of 2020 race.
Devon D: The race was much closer in 2020 than in 2018. Partisanship is now evenly divided (50/50) district. However, with the ‘Trump effect,’ we now have a chance to overcome this and tip in Dem’s favor. Midterms are always tough for the president’s party (can lose almost 20 seats on average), so 2022 will be even more challenging.
Christi K: What about the Equality Act? (in the House) Did the act get a vote today? Kim is co-sponsor of this act!! Which guarantees protections for LGBTQAi community.
Hillary Haden, Executive Director, Washington Fair Trade Coalition Fundraiser Event
Our Annual Fund Raiser event is Thursday, 2/25/21. In lieu of annual breakfast at the machinists’ union due to COVID, WFTA is hosting an online Trivia Fundraiser. The 31st LD is signed up for 8 seats (needs a team name).
Also: Please sign the ‘Trips Waiver’ process—along with 70 orgs –still needs signatures. Companies responsible for distributing the COVID vaccines cannot make doses for other countries until 2024 unless the Trips Waiver (TW) is approved. We have Invoked the TW at the WTO—waives academic property rules for vaccines during the global pandemic. Africa and India have waived rules. Biden hasn’t yet made a statement. Trump administration stood in the way of the waiver. WTO is hoping that Biden will invoke the waiver to allow vaccinations to proceed around the world! Our WTO Resolution/Letter is circulating tonight. FYI: If the WT is invoked– it releases intellectual properties so that all countries can manufacture their own vaccines. Only the vaccines.
Tamara S: introduces Marcus Young, President, Bethel School Board
Vice Chair, Pierce County Democrats
(Pierce Cty Dems is his main political experience—Marcus ran in 2020 for Pierce Cty Council, District 3.) “As a new ‘first-time’ candidate—it was very challenging for me to know who to speak to, etc. I networked and reached out for key legislative candidate endorsement interviews. But I was repeatedly told they had already done their recruiting.
“For people of color, these are invisible ‘stop signs.’ Speaking with the Chair of Pierce Cty Dems, Kathy Orlando, I felt like her initial response to me was rude (dismissive). This caused me to take a step back. But after speaking with others in PCD, I went back to Kathy and told her how I felt. This conversation helped Kathy to recognize some inherent racial biases in place—AND, has effected some positive changes.”
Marcus received endorsement from PCD and was recently elected Vice Chair of Pierce Cty Dems. “We can do better as a collective whole: We (Dems) must meet them (People of Color/ BIPOC) where THEY are at. [BIPOC community] is not comfortable coming to us. If we expect new faces and want to recruit diverse candidates, we cannot expect them to come find US. There are a number of groups that already exist in WA state that would be great partners to reach out to make connections. We need to show them that we share similar mindsets and values. Many people of color don’t know about LDs [legislative districts] and what engagement involves…”
“When it comes to politics: one of our [BIPOC] release points historically has been the church/ religion. Culturally, this has been safeguarded and kept separate from politics. People are often told not to get involved [in local politics]. This mindset can be a barrier. Even how LD party meetings are run: Robert’s Rules can become a barrier when someone has never experienced this before. We need to provide a crash course in procedure/protocol’s [RR’s].
For ex: ‘Point of Order’, etc. “A new person comes in [to a meeting] and doesn’t know about the RR process—but hears people [of color] being constantly corrected. This creates perceptions of bias and causes confusion, /shaming, and discourage participation. LD’s can host an introduction for newcomers in a separate zoom ‘room’ to assist new attendees.”
Finally: “We need to Stop Being Possessive about candidates, i.e.: ‘We’ve already recruited/endorsed our candidate’.” Marcus is President of the Bethel School Board. It is the ONLY official entity in Pierce Cty District 3. The Bethel SB covers 1/3 of the district! How can Marcus NOT be considered as highly qualified candidate? Why wouldn’t he have been considered as highly qualified recruit for candidacy for the council. “We can [and must] make room for ALL people to get involved. The more possessive we are –the more we breed clones of ourselves. I realize this is hard to do –to not be possessive of what we love and have grown.”
Monica W: TY, Marcus, for all of that information –I appreciate your insight. It’s important for us to keep learning about creating a welcoming environment for everyone, extend “Radical Hospitality” to expand our community.
Marcus Y: This is my favorite mantra: “Legacy never dies with the person.”
Forest G: Can you tell me more about the barriers you experienced? Did you feel these were racially motivated, or had they already found their candidate?
Marcus: “Looking back at it—the person [candidate] they had picked—has been around along time and done a lot of work within the party. How I felt, however, relates to ‘impact’ vs ‘intent.’ Though it may have been innocent in intent— the impact felt personal and hurtful. The more hurtful blow—came later: After the election returns came back, the bottom candidate had 12% of the vote. I had 21%. So, the two bottom candidates were Dems. I got more votes than their endorsed candidate. And yet I was called [by the party] and told “I needed to do it differently next time.”
Kimber Star, Pierce County Democrats – Chair, Constituency Caucuses
Chair of local constituency caucuses, Kimber lives in the 29th LD. She is a longtime comm organizer, chair of the Native Peoples Caucus, an enrolled Cherokee Nation member. Kimber has personally experienced indigenous erasure within the PCDCC. Which led her to work on “How can we create an inclusive environment that brings all these diverse [groups] caucuses under the Democratic party [Big Tent]. “Constituency Caucuses are now part of by-laws of Pierce Cty Dems. My job to usher this into action.” Kimber is currently forming an outreach committee. “Then we will bring in constituency caucuses. Her guiding principle: “Diversity is a fact, Inclusion is choice. “Inclusion is the action we are working on—Belonging is the outcome we are striving for –to expand our big tent.”
Upcoming event in the works—Latino and Native American caucus’ want to host a taco night once the pandemic restrictions are over.
Tamara S: is King Cty also creating/gathering Constituency Caucuses? Since we [31st LD Dems] are a split district.
Kimber S: I’m working with wide variety of groups like Tacoma Indivisible, City Club, Democrats of Faith, 27th LD caucus—we are inclusive, so King Cty residents/groups are absolutely welcome.
Jan or Vicki—Is this a method or template that we can bring back to our committees?
Kimber S: It’s a way to connect people and recruit new PCO’s –a way to “meet them where they are,” as Marcus said.
Brian G: The How & What are things we need to work on.
Andrea Robertson King County Superior Court Judge, Position 47 (Appointed by Gov. Inslee, Judge Robertson was sworn in NY’s Eve, 2020) “Thank You for allowing me to speak tonight. For those who do not know my background, I have 22 years of experience in the trial courts. The Minority Bar Assoc. endorsed me as ‘exceptionally well qualified.’ I am running in 2021 to electorally retain my seat. To date I am running uncontested…” The pandemic has made things more challenging for the courts—30 jury trials going on at any given time. There is a massive backlog right now. For all levels of case law and in the Court’s day-to-day proceedings. Criminal trials are mainly conducted via zoom, with jury being selected virtually –but now being brought back for to face-to-face process.
So many cases are still waiting for adjudication. Access to justice and efficiencies of the courts have needed to be updated. The virtual platform actually improved access for many who could least afford to physically attend hearings, etc. Some of these tools will be adopted long-term. I have filled out the 31st LD candidate questionnaire in the required time frame.
Hope you will consider endorsing me tonight.
Rudy A: Can you tell us about the issue with interpreters for non-English speakers—such as not wanting to attend face to face hearings.
Andrea R: An interpreter committee is meeting now and these issues are being assessed currently.
Kali Clark, King Conservation District Board of Supervisors – Position 2
“This is my first time running for elected office. Natural resource stewardship is my entire career. Wildland Firefighter with State DNR for many years—throughout the state. Last job was in Enumclaw. Worked with FEMA on COVID. Kali Wants to increase outreach to KCD’s. She lives in the 45th LD.
The KCDCC endorsed Kali last night.
Tamara S: How many positions are open on the Board of Sup?
Kali C: 2 open positions. 9 candidates. Tamara says Kali still has info posted on the 31st Website re: KCD 2020 elections. She will share a link for requesting ballots for this election.
Brian G:31st LD Dems have not received Kali’s questionnaire to date: so Kali is not eligible for endorsement tonight.
John Comerford, King Conservation District Board of Supervisors, Position 2 (John is running for same position as Kali.) John visited the 31st in 2016 seeking endorsement for state treasurer. Mike Pellicciotti has now endorsed him. And KCDCC also endorsed John. He Has a background in local government. Worked with White House for four years under Frmr. Pres. Carter. John worked on the WA State Bank initiative and environmental investments with the pension fund. John considered running for Port Commissioner because of his passion re: pollution issues and environmental impact. He decided the KCD would be better place to focus on issues of pollution; he would like to bring conservation education to local school districts, increase legislative contributions for conservation projects, and leverage funds with state partnerships, including Milton & Pacific who are currently left out. No one currently on the KCD has background in finance. Process starts in March: 3-year term. 3 members are elected, 3 appointed by the commission.
Brian G: No questionnaire from John has been received to date: so John is not eligible for endorsement tonight.
TREASURER’S REPORT –Rudy Adams
December 2020 report
January 2021 report
Rudy A: Exempt Funds can be sued for promoting more than one candidate for a particular office. (literature hand-out like in 2018). Non-exempt funds can be used for normally budgeted items. Account has been stable for past several months (not many expenses due to Covid.)
Rudy A: Motion to accept Dec & Jan treasurer reports, Forest G seconded. No objection. The January & December Treasurer Reports are accepted.
Proposed 2021 Budget
Rudy A: (January report is embedded in first month of the budget). By the end of the year the Supreme Court will rule on an example case. Our lawyers are waiting for the SC to set precedent before moving forward.
Rudy A: Should we retain legal defense funds? Brian says we must retain funds until this is determined. He is hoping to have an online FR to build our account and for 2021 candidates. Funds are budgeted for online FR.
Christi K: motioned to adopt budget as it stands, John W. Seconded.
Tamara S: Proposed an amendment: to add line item for social media advertising at $5 per month. For 31st General meeting to boost attendance.
Tamara S: motioned to approve Donna D. seconded.
Mark D: What does that $ get us? What are demographics from last year?
Tamara S: Almost 1,000 views in our feed the last time we spent $ on ad? (Friends of friends and by zip codes. we could also use add’l filters.)
Brian G: Not sure it can be limited to as low as $5,
Mark D: Motion to amend proposal to $20 p/month. Rudy A, Seconded.
Brian G: Take us to a vote. Hearing no objections to raise amendment to $20. No objections: Amendment is passed to add $20 per month line item to the 2021 budget. Motion to Adopt 2021 budget as amended—last chance to raise objections. Hearing none,
The 2021 Budget has been adopted.
Brian G; Running late, propose skipping committee reports.
OFFICERS’ & COMMITTEE REPORTS No reports
Tamara S: Last year a committee worked on revising the existing 31st LD candidate questionnaires for proposed use in 2021. She proposes re-forming this committee to determine type and extent of revisions of questionnaire, to
evaluate and make recommendations at next General meeting. Meet on March 2, day before the 31st Eboard meeting. Everyone is welcome to join the zoom. ( Link to be included by Tamara below.)
Forest G: I’m currently working on a Pierce county questionnaire with PCDCC. This could be used with slight modifications for our district. Timeline –By next meeting in March & April to have all 3 flavors of questionnaires completed.
Tamara S: adding zoom link in the chat to join the meeting on March 2.
New PCO application(s) Brian G: no one is present; wait next meeting.
Considerations of Endorsements: Judge Robertson is eligible for endorsement at this time.
Monica W: Motion to endorse Judge Robertson for KD 47, James J Seconded.
Brian G: Entertain a motion to how to proceed? take a poll using zoom
Monica W: Rescinded her motion to endorse Judge Roberts.
Christi K: Motioned to use ‘raise hand’ in the participants window to vote on endorsements. Adopted unanimously.
Monica W: Motion to endorse Judge Robertson, James J, Seconded
Brian G: Majority votes in favor of endorsement: (14 in favor).
Judge Andrea Robertson is officially endorsed by 31st LD
Brian G: Call for 31st to move for Brian Gunn as Chair to sign on to the WA Fair Trade Coalition resolution letter to POTUS:
Rudy A: Motion to sign the resolution, Forest G: seconded.
Brian G: Use the ‘Raise Hand’ in participants: Resolution is passed by majority (13 votes) Brian G will e-sign letter for 31st LD this evening.
GOOD AND WELFARE
Brian G: There is still (1) paid seats open for the WA Trade trivia night tomorrow. Monica volunteered to fill the remaining seat.
James J: There is still one open seat for city council in Auburn! Nancy Backus is running for Mayor, Larry Brown & Yolanda also running.
Christi K: WA Dems Executive board meeting is scheduled: I’m asking to be on the rural ag committee, and on the redistricting committee [new].
Monica W: Seat is open on the East Pierce Cty Fire Board, Christi K.is planning to apply. There are (7) positions for six-year terms.
Brian G: Spoke with WA State Dem Chair, Tina Podlodowski, about getting help recruiting viable candidates, and meetings are now being scheduled. If there target open seats in 31st LD city councils in small towns where we can gain some ground. Ask people who we know—or use recruitment to reach out to diverse caucuses.
James J; Auburn is going to be very important! Also, Auburn School board.
Good experience for people to consider running at the state level. Jameshas been selected to sit on the Equity & Inclusion team in So. Sound Cities Assoc.
Christi K: Timeline demographics data show a tipping point for the 31st LD!
Tamara S: Motioned to adjourn, James J, seconded.